The impact of modern-day neuroimaging on the field of deep brain stimulation

Curr Opin Neurol. 2019 Aug;32(4):511-520. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000679.


Purpose of review: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established but growing treatment option for multiple brain disorders. Over the last decade, electrode placement and their effects were increasingly analyzed with modern-day neuroimaging methods like spatial normalization, fibertracking, or resting-state functional MRI. Similarly, specialized basal ganglia MRI sequences were introduced and imaging at high field strengths has become increasingly popular.

Recent findings: To facilitate the process of precise electrode localizations, specialized software pipelines were introduced. By those means, DBS targets could recently be refined and significant relationships between electrode placement and clinical improvement could be shown. Furthermore, by combining electrode reconstructions with network imaging methods, relationships between electrode connectivity and clinical improvement were investigated. This led to a broad series of imaging-based insights about DBS that are reviewed in the present work.

Summary: The reviewed literature makes a strong case that brain imaging plays an increasingly important role in DBS targeting and programming. Furthermore, brain imaging will likely help to better understand the mechanism of action of DBS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Diseases / therapy*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neuroimaging / methods*